Header photo: A great blue heron shows off its plumage for this great photo taken during Focus on Nature, 2014

Alabama State Parks are full of quiet places to retreat from hustle and bustle and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Alabama offers both its residents and visitors opportunities to see an overwhelming variety of plant and animal species. From the foothills of the Appalachians to the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama provides habitat to the fifth largest number of plant and animal species of any state in the United States! In coming posts, we will explore some of these amazing species, and highlight the many Alabama State Park destinations that provide opportunities to explore trails and watch wildlife. There are also exciting events scheduled throughout the year which feature noteworthy speakers and guided activities to help you learn about and enjoy our vast natural resources.

Joe Wheeler State Park will be hosting such an event at the end of February. Focus on Nature will be held February 27 to March 1, and plans for the weekend include field trips and presentations emphasizing nature photography. The weekend will cater to both novice and experienced photographers, and everyone is welcome. You can find more information about lodging and dining packages along with the weekend itinerary at the event’s web page or on Joe Wheeler State Park’s Facebook page.  

Plan your trip today to spend time enjoying the biodiversity Alabama has to offer. Try your hand at capturing a stunning photo of one of the many common species in the park. You may stumble upon a nesting pair of wood ducks or a great blue heron waiting for it's next meal. A whitetail deer may offer the perfect photo opportunity as it browses through the park or perhaps you can capture the beauty of a bald eagle through your camera lens.